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Raising An Independent Decision Maker

Allow the child to participate in decisions that affect the family

When the opportunity arises, involve your child in decisions with the family. This lets them know that their opinion matters, while also teaching them to be considerate about other members of the family. This stage, however, could be a huge leap in progress for your child. It’s alright to take things slowly.

A good way to encourage decision making in children is through activity night with the family through play-based activities. Try book reading, role-playing, or even board games!

Cute toddler peeking from behind a wall

Mistakes happen, it’s part of their growth and development

It’s second nature to want to correct your child’s mistake as it happens. Yet, we all know the time-tested saying that mistakes are part of the process. As long as the choice doesn’t affect them permanently, remember that there are important lessons imparted in making a different choice!

Set a great example

Decision making in children can also be learned through exemplary examples by you, the parent. After all, the best lessons in life are caught, not taught. Emulating great leaders (or successful family members) is also another way to set a good example.


Converse on decision making and the thought process behind it

Keep your child’s progress on decision making in check. Are they understanding the thought process behind choosing apples over potato chips for snack time? Do they understand the health benefits of choosing salad greens over jelly? Perhaps, they understand the ‘why’ but choose against the better (read: healthier) choice. Do they have a reason for choosing it anyway?


Children often think about short-term gratification instead of long term benefits. They might justify their choice simply because ‘I like it’ or ‘It tastes better’, and that’s acceptable. As parents, we must understand the child’s perspective. These guiding principles on decision making in children would not only cultivate independence but also instil a sense of confidence and discipline in the child. Balance, as they say, is the key to life!

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